Mistakes happen: Here’s when to file an amended return

IRS Tax Tip 2023-47, April 10, 2023

Even after making every effort to file a complete and accurate tax return, mistakes can happen. When a taxpayer realizes that the tax return they filed has a math error, missing income or other mistake, they may wonder if they need to correct it by filing an amended return.

The Interactive Tax Assistant can help taxpayers decide if they need to file an amended return

Taxpayers can use the Should I File an Amended Return? tool in the Interactive Tax Assistant on IRS.gov to help decide if they should correct an error or make other changes to the tax return they already filed.

Math errors and missing schedules don't usually require an amended return

Taxpayers usually do not need to file an amended return to fix a math error or if they forgot to attach a form or schedule. The IRS will correct the math error while processing the tax return and notify the taxpayer by mail. The agency will send a letter requesting any missing forms or schedules.

Here's when a taxpayer does need to file an amended return

A taxpayer will need to file an amended return if there's a change to their:

  • Filing status
  • Income
  • Deductions
  • Credits
  • Tax liability

How to file an amended tax return

Taxpayers should use Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to correct a previously filed Form 1040-series return or to change amounts previously adjusted by the IRS. Taxpayers can file Form 1040-X electronically for their 2020, 2021 or 2022 Forms 1040 or 1040-SR. Additionally, they can electronically amend Form 1040-NR and Form 1040-SS/PR for tax year 2021 and 2022. Taxpayers who file their amended return electronically may choose to receive any refund by direct deposit to their bank account. This option is not available for those who file on paper.

Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, Frequently Asked Questions has more information.

Checking the status of an amended return

Taxpayers can check the status of their Form 1040-X using the Where's My Amended Return? online tool or by calling 866-464-2050 three weeks after filing. Both tools are available in English and Spanish and track the status of amended returns for the current year and up to three prior years.

When using either tool, taxpayers will need to enter their taxpayer identification number, such as a Social Security number, along with their date of birth and ZIP code to prove their identity. Once authenticated, they can view the status of their amended return across three processing stages: received, adjusted and completed.

Taxpayers expecting a refund should not file an amended return before their original return has processed

The IRS issues most refunds in fewer than 21 days for taxpayers who filed electronically and chose direct deposit. Some returns have errors or need more review and may take longer to process.

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